World can learn from China's policies on Africa

(China Daily)
Updated: 2007-02-06 07:16

JOHANNESBURG: China's increasing involvement in Africa may influence the nature of international relations with the continent, in an equal and mutually beneficial way, a senior South African official said.

With China's entry into Africa, "we begin to get everybody to understand the principles of sovereignty, equality, non-intervention in the affairs of other countries, and mutual benefits," South Africa's Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

This "can even change the whole nature of how other countries deal with Africa," and "we can create the environment in which we can deal with other countries on a equal basis," Pahad said.

He made the remarks on the eve of President Hu Jintao's visit to South Africa.

Hu's visit "is an increasing sign that, as China emerges as a strong economic power in the world and as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, it has a major role to play," Pahad said.

He said China influences not only the world's political and economic situation, but more specifically in dealing with challenges that other countries are experiencing, particularly in Africa.

South Africa is part of Hu's eight-nation trip to Africa that began last week, three months after the Beijing Summit on China-Africa Cooperation held last November. At the forum, Chinese and more than 40 African leaders pledged to intensify cooperation on mutual development.

During Hu's visit, Pahad said, China and Africa will need to see how to follow up on decisions made during the Beijing summit, which include China's increasing aid to Africa and the expansion of two-way trade and investment. Pahad stressed that the South African government does not believe that China is coming to Africa as a new colonial power.

"We reject that argument," he said, adding that China has cancelled most of the debt in Africa and has forged partnerships with African countries.

China's decision to limit its exports of textile products to South Africa for two years is a good example, Pahad said. South Africa's industry and trade unions have long accused low-price Chinese products of flooding the local market and against which they were unable to compete.

"I think that is a good political indication that China is willing to listen, even if they don't necessarily agree, to see where they can help developing countries," Pahad said.


(China Daily 02/06/2007 page2)

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